Everything you need for school lunch packing

Everything you need for school lunch packing

I get lots of questions about the products I use to pack our lunches, so I thought it might be helpful if I gathered up all my favorite items in one post.

I think one of the most important aspects of easy lunch packing is to have products and containers that are consistent and reliable. While it is fun to have a nice variety of accessories, if you want to be quick and efficient in your lunch packing, choosing a reliable set of stuff that you can use day in and day out is going to be your best bet. 

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The Best Snack Box!

It's been a while since I've found something new that I'm so excited about that I wanted to shout it from the rooftops - but we have new snack boxes.

You may already know that EasyLunchboxes are my favorite, and most recommended, box for packing school lunches. We've loved these since we started packing lunches, and now there's a new one to choose from. 

This is the new EasyLunchboxes snack box! I think it's absolutely perfect. It's the same genius design as the original, easy to use and pack, easy to clean, just in a smaller size.

This is perfect for snacks, but it's also an awesome size lunch box for your little eaters with smaller appetites.

One of the things I love about it is that it has four compartments. This makes it really easy to pack a well balanced lunch or snack. I follow a simple formula for packing: protein + vegetable + fruit + carb. Having a container with four sections makes this easy!

Another new favorite lunch box!

Sometimes you get in a rut and you have to change things up just to stay motivated to keep going.

I have been using our EasyLunchboxes since my oldest two were in preschool. I still have my original set, and they are still awesome. They are absolutely still my top recommendation for basic, easy, and cost effective lunch packing.

But, I have to be honest, after 6 years, of multiple lunches every day, for 180 days of school, I just got a little bored with them. I was having a hard time figuring out why I just couldn't get motivated for lunch packing this school year, and trying to figure out what I could do to get my groove back.

And I finally found it. New lunchboxes!

I've been using the Yumboxes for a couple weeks and I am having fun making lunches again. I love all the bright colors, and the little sections, and the fact that they are totally leakproof is just opening up a lot more easy lunch choices.

I've known about these boxes for a long time. We had a snack sized box for a long time, and I've loved it. But I resisted buying the lunch size. I had a few reasons, one being storage space and another being price. I make four lunches, so that adds up in terms of buying lunch containers. But I finally decided I was ready to try them out. At first I bought just one and used it for a week or two. And I fell in love. I don't know if I can even tell you exactly why, but they really do make it more fun. I love getting creative with what I can put in each little section, and there are things I am packing now that avoided packing before. 

When they say these don't leak, they aren't kidding. I have packed ranch dip, yogurt, applesauce, jam, ketchup, and more - without a single leak. The lid closes really snug - but it's not hard to close!

That's one of my criteria - it has to be easy to open and close. With one simple latch, all of my kids can easily open this and close it. I like that the lid is hinged - I was having a problem with one of my kids somehow leaving the lid off their EasyLunchbox altogether - so we had leftover lunch just loose and floating around in the lunch bag. But this one he closes. It's a great choice for little hands, or for someone with special needs who has a harder time opening and closing something.

The regular size comes in two different configurations - a four compartment and a six compartment. I got a couple of each. I love them both. People who pack a lot of sandwiches or other bigger things will want the bigger space in the four compartment box. If you pack more smaller nibbles, then the 6 compartment is great. I love both. 

The 6 compartment is especially awesome if you are having a hard time knowing what to pack, or if you have kids who are learning to pack their own lunch. Each section is labeled with what should go in it - protein, fruit, veggie, etc.

As far as my two initial reservations, I'm over them. They are more expensive, but they are really sturdy and well made. I know people who have had these for years and they say they are still like new. The good news on the size is that they are basically the same exterior dimensions as our other containers, so they fit in all of our lunch bags just perfectly. They store just fine, I just stack them or line them up vertically.

Also, they come in fun colors, which is never a bad thing. 

So - if you are looking to try something new - you can't go wrong with these!

My favorite container for lunches that can be reheated.

My husband take his lunch to work several days a week. Usually what he takes is just dinner leftovers. This is super easy because I just pack it up as we are putting away the leftovers from dinner. And I always make extra dinner, so that we have plenty of leftovers. 

My kids lunches are always things that can be eaten cold or at room temperature, because they don't have any way to heat things up. But my husband works in an office, with easy access to a kitchen with a microwave. So a hot meal is a nice option for him. And sending him with leftovers means that I don't have to make something separate.

We went through a lot of different containers before we found one that works best for him. After a lot of trial and error, we settled on these microwavable containers from Sistema. We like them for several reasons:

  1. They are made for the microwave - they have a vent at the top that you just pop open.
  2. They do not leak! He carries this sideways in his computer bag and has never had a leak!
  3. They are relatively flat - as I mentioned, he likes to just slip this in his bag, so he wanted something that wasn't going to take up a lot of space and these work just great. 
  4. They come in three sizes, so you can pick the size that works best for your size meal.

We use the medium size most often, it seems to be just right for lunch. But the large is also nice for when you want a bigger meal. I actually don't have a small one, since I got these for a man sized appetite, but it looks like a nice size for a smaller appetite.  

Honestly, I don't love the color. I don't think food looks very appealing on red, but whatever, they work so great that we don't worry about the color.